#TBT to Miami City Ballet’s Epic 30th Anniversary
September 20, 2017
It’s been over 30 years since Miami acquired its official American ballet company, becoming the resident ballet company for Fort Lauderdale and the West Palm Beaches at the same time. Back when it all began, it was one of the first national companies to be founded by a woman, and is now South Florida’s largest arts organization reaching over 125,000 audience members a year.
But aside from all these numbers, Miami City Ballet stays magical every day of the year. From their ballet school of over 1,500 students both young and professional, to their consistent programming of some of history’s most prolific pieces, they preserve South Florida’s dance identity. So when the ballet company turned thirty back in 2015, it was no surprise that they went big–we’re talking Shakespeare big.
With the help of Knight Foundation‘s $2.5 million 3-year pledge and acquiring grant support from their Knight Arts Challenge, the Miami City Ballet developed a groundbreaking 30th anniversary season that included many firsts and even more milestones. From their classic George Balanchine favorites like “Swan Lake” to multiple company premieres, it was a season that gained much national notice.
But the landmark of the season came in the form of their greatest revival: Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”. Not only was it the first time that the George Balanchine Trust allowed a reimagined piece to occur, but they allowed it to go under water for a creative marine theme. At the centerpiece of the performance, Miami City Ballet combined the work of two Miami natives: artist Michele Oka Doner and playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney, known most notably for his Oscar-winning work: Moonlight.
And yet another moment where Knight Foundation was, without knowing it, artistically clairvoyant.